They are a familiar sight on Dublin streets, and the prospect of Luas trams on Leeside has moved a step closer.
Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) and the National Transport Authority (NTA) have announced that Jacobs Engineering Ireland has been awarded the contract to undertake a route options analysis and develop initial designs for the proposed Luas Light Rail Transit (LRT) from Ballincollig to Mahon Point in Cork.
This proposed Luas scheme will provide a high-capacity, high-frequency public transport link from the eastern to the western suburbs of Cork and will serve a large number of significant destinations including Ballincollig, the proposed Cork Science and Innovation Park (CSIP), Cork Institute of Technology (CIT), Cork University Hospital (CUH), University College Cork (UCC), Cork City Centre, Kent Station/Cork North Docklands, Cork South Docklands and Mahon.
The project is a key element in the Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy, published by the NTA earlier this year and has been a long-term objective in the Cork Metropolitan Area under a number of local authority statutory development plans. Both Project Ireland 2040 and the National Development Plan (NDP) 2018-2027 make commitments to progressing the scheme to support the ambitious growth projections for Cork city.
TII Chief Executive Officer Michael Nolan said that he was very pleased to be able to announce the result of this Tender Competition. “Light Rail has proven itself in many cities, including Dublin, and TII is very enthusiastic about working with the National Transport Authority and all the regional stakeholders in taking this project forward in Cork.”
NTA Chief Executive Anne Graham said: “When the NTA met with the elected members of Cork City Council recently, it was clear to us that there was overwhelming support for the measures contained in the Transport Strategy.
“It was also clear to us that if the Strategy is to remain a credible document in the eyes of people in Cork, it is essential that progress is made on the delivery of the key elements, sooner rather than later.
“That is why today’s announcement is significant, and we believe that it is a clear signal that implementation of the Strategy is now under way.”
Jacobs Engineering Ireland Head of Business, People and Places Solutions said: “Jacobs is delighted to be awarded the contract for the delivery of the early phases of this strategic light rail project in Cork.”